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The Records of Brian Waite - Part 2 of 2
Posted By: CoLd BlooDed<broken_lizard12@hotmail.com>
Date: 1 December 2006, 7:43 am

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Records of Brian Waite

[journal entry #30]
[06.05.56 / 0312 hours]
[classification - red.]

      I keep seeing things… I'm almost one-hundred percent confident that my mind has gone berserk—haywire. All the shadows are potential demons, demons who are waiting, plotting… all the noises are his footsteps approaching me from all angles [voice alteration - fear/anger] from underneath my bed sheets, from inside my closet, from the vacuum of motherfucking SPACE. I can feel him, I know it was Barnum who I saw outside in the hallway, I know it. Did I not tell you about that sewn up hand? It has a significance… it's all his victims flesh stitched together to make a fashionable human glove.
      It's very early in the morning right now, very early—or is it night still? One complete twenty-four hour cycle of night. That's right. I'm very fortunate that the lights haven't failed yet… that the generator hasn't crapped out for the zillionth time over this paid vacation to paradise. [sound - weak laughter]. If the darkness came right now, if it consumed me, I don't know what I'd do. I'd go nuts.
      I've had time to think things out since my last entry, it's all I've been doing, it's all I COULD do. I don't even care that I have to work tomorrow. Insomnia doesn't phase me right now… if I don't deal with the more important issue I could wind up dead in the next week. I could talk to somebody about it, maybe—ah, fuck it. The Admiral told me not to come back and everyone else would think I've left my sanity back at home. I'm going to have to find a way to deal with it, and on my own. I can't let this stop me from completing my courses, I can't let it interfere with anything else… I've got to stop it.
      There's nothing more to say right now, my brain is cooked from these last couple hours, I don't think I'll be sleeping tonight… or, if I do, it won't be much at all. I'm going to keep myself busy for the next little while by writing some poetry. Poetry has always been my refuge for tough times like these.
      I'll update when I can.


[journal entry #31]
[06.05.56 / 0454 hours]
[classification - yllw.]

      Here's something I got. Hold on. [sound - shuffling papers] Alright, here we go…

      What is real and what's not, and who are we to say?
      Shame yourself from truth, get on your knees and pray;
      A shuffle in existence, a universal flop,
      Once the ball is rollin', it's impossible to stop.
      So gather all your knowledge, your own subconscious book,
      Now burn it, burn it all! There'll be no second look.
      A moment in life is all we need, a second in our time,
      Keeping reality close to heart ought to be a crime.
      Eat it up, or spit it out, 'cause sanity is severed,
      Seeds are sown, but one flux will change your life forever.

      [sound - clearing throat] Well, there it is. Not bad for a sleep-deprived kid who's jumping at every sound and shadow. Not bad at all…
      Poetry is great for letting out stress. I'll probably be doing this all night until I pass out. Time for something different. Time for [playback error 3.54 - static]


[journal entry #32]
[06.05.56 / 1243 hours]
[classification - orng.]

      I'm beginning to think people know. They know of the demon that's been chasing me. Maybe they heard me screaming last night? Maybe they heard about Andrea? Who knows, who fucking knows—all I can tell ya is that they've been giving me strange looks all morning; looks that says, "I know something." Yet, none of them have so much as uttered a word to me. Maybe it's because I didn't sleep? I probably look like the ugliest zombie you've ever seen. I didn't even have time to shower… do I stink? Well, sorry if I don't smell like goddamn roses or puppies on this floating slab of metal.
      I don't feel like eating right now even though I haven't had a bite in the last day and a half. My stomach is shrinking by the minute, but I can't eat. I can't even drink. Each time I look at this reddened gruel, this weak excuse for meat, I see the bloodied, chopped flesh of all who were murdered here. Consider it a tribute. Do these underpaid, emotionless UNSC slaves think they can fool me with this grop? Fuck no. [sound - cutlery clattering]
      I've had it, I'm going back to work. It's time to get my mind off this shit.
      Gah, I'm late. I'll update later.


[journal entry #33]
[06.05.56 / 1822 hours]
[classification - red.]

      He is everywhere. He is all living things. I can't concentrate on something without seeing him, hearing him, smelling him! I'll look up and he's in the corner, I'll turn away and I'll see his grin, then finally, when I'm on the verge of taking my teeny tiny pencil and stabbing it into the soft flesh behind my ear, I'll close my eyes… only to see that fuckers giant grin, his teeth filed to cannibalistic points. I'll hear him laugh, and with every breath he makes I can feel my heart shrinking… my entire soul freezing. I've got to do something before he gets me. He distracted me from getting most of my work done today, and I knew I was in trouble but the APPCO instructors did shit all. Lucky break for me, I guess… I guess, I guess…
      I need sleep, though I know it won't come. Maybe it's stuck in traffic? Perhaps waiting in line at the store? Or maybe it jumped off a building and spilled itself on the cement and now it'll never come… never come. [sound - dazed laugh]
      My bed is as comfortable as ever; I know if given the chance my eyelids would shut and I'd sleep for what would seem like eternity, but I refuse to do even so much as blink. If I distance myself from the waking world for even a second, Barnum will snag me like a cat, drown me (gurglegurgle) and turn me into one of his motherfucking human sweaters. [sound - coughing]
      Where do I belong in this world? Why the hell does this have to happen to me? I came here to escape the everyday troubles of Earth. Terra firma. Foolish of me to think that I can run from my problems.
      [voice alteration - {ext.] anger] FUCK. I'm an IDIOT! [sound - heavy breathing]


[Entries 33-35 missing]

[journal entry #36]
[06.06.56 / 1232 hours]
[classification - red.]

      Christ. Yesterday was a milestone. I don't know what happened, or how it even came about. I… I can't tell if… wow… did it actually…? I don't know how I got through last night.
      Here, I'll just give you the story. I'll give you the details—the fleshy, sinewy details. Brian Waite's own fucking tale from the crypt. Ready? No, you're really not.
      I was late. Time was tickin' and I was behind… supposed to get to the auto-repair station so I wasn't stuck with the dysfunctional tools. Anyways, I decided that I needed to take a shortcut, and like the idiot I am I chose to go through the kitchen. Why does that make me an idiot? Well, I figured he'd be waiting for me… and of course good ol' Ricky boy wasn't going to let down on his promise to keep me in constant horror.
      I'll tell you what I remember, I'll tell you everything… before it starts to blur.
      You'd think that the silence and complete emptiness of the kitchen would've deterred me; you'd think the unusually large butcher knives buried in the countertops, covered in a brownish liquid that could only realistically be grease, would've given me the hint. No, no, never. Because Waite is just so goddamn smart, he knows what's good for him… I brushed past hanging pig carcasses and rusty stovetops to try and reach that backdoor—I just wanted to get out of there. Finally, after what seemed like hours, I reached that little grey doorknob—just wrapped my knuckles around gods gift to the universe—and nearly bit off my tongue when I heard something heavy fall back in the kitchen where all the industrial cooking machinery is. Unfortunately, those frozen pork slabs blocked my view of whatever the fuck it was.
      Of course I thought, Hey, what's back there? Let's go check it out because that's the smart thing to do. I mean, I'm lacking a good 48 hours of sleep right now, but my senses are in good shape, right? And so I went on my goddamn trolly-dolly little way, bouncing among the sunflowers and giggling pixie princesses.
      I slowly brushed past the hooked meat as the knot in my stomach intensified—the butterflies had turned to stone and were now lodged in my gut—because I knew who would be waiting for me… or what would be waiting for me. The kitchen seemed a whole lot colder.
      [sound - deep inhalation] And there he stood, grinning his cannibalistic smile, like Rick had known all along that I hadn't slept for two days and that I was perfectly willing to confront him again… and then it dawned on me. He had known all along. Barnum is everywhere—all living things, yes, yes.
      Anyways, there he stood, grinning his cannibalistic smile, his arms perfectly parallel to his waist, the crudely sewn flesh drooping from his overgrown fingers. He didn't move, he didn't breathe; for once, this fucking space borne hellspawn was silent. I was frozen, not sure if I should be temporarily glad he was mute or incredibly frightened of what was to come.
      I found myself surveying his body, his encasement of past victims that completed his winter fashion line… the collection of skins were a semi-healthy beige, fading somewhat into the color of nothingness that composed Barnum's soul. I could see everything, everything; the rough, inexperienced stitching that zigzagged around his appendages and torso and neck and scalp… the dried, flaky blood that dribbled from where his eyes were supposed to be… the patches of hair that clung on to surviving flesh. The only thing that phased me, the only thing that truly scared me, was the fact that no matter how hard I concentrated, no matter how much I willed myself, I couldn't see past the black shadow that clung to his face.
      So there we were, living and living dead, caught in a standstill, caught in a rot. My brain was too fried to tell what was supposed to happen next. Was I supposed to run away in terror? Was I supposed to say something? What the hell was the point of this confrontation?
      And then I saw it. I saw her. My eyes had wandered from the demon, across the counters and oil-covered food prep stations, to the unmoving shape of my former friend, Andrea, who lay facedown in a heap on the conveyor belt that led into the meat-grinder. I… I was shocked. But I couldn't cry, I couldn't talk, I couldn't think. Anger had prevailed before all other emotions, and I desperately wanted to do something, I wanted to get the body—but my legs refused to move.
      It was then that the conveyor belts gears began to move, the giant blade inside began to spin, and the corpse was slowly brought towards the gaping metal mouth… slowly, slowly, forever. For fucking forever. And I couldn't move, couldn't grasp onto what was happening. Barnum's hidden eyes bore into me, and I could feel him grin. He was happy, happy that I couldn't do anything to prevent my friend from becoming tomorrows casserole.
      [voice alteration - grief/anger] It wasn't my fault, okay? It wasn't MY FAULT! I tried to get her! Those invisible bonds that held me back broke just as she entered the machine, the dicer… the almighty food slicer. I jumped forward, screaming, crying, cursing, but it was… too, too late. I heard it all. I will never forget that instantaneous explosion of wet muscle… I will never… [sound - sobbing] forget that confused expression her face as her body fell towards that saw; it was the look of fear and disorientation.
      I-I can't even finish. I got out of there, the droning sound of the grinder echoing in my ears and his sharped-tooth grin stamped in my mind. I got out of there before someone came. I never even ended up going to class.
      Why am I able to speak of this so clearly?
      Well… I actually got to sleep last night.


[journal entry #37]
[06.07.56 / 0032 hours]
[classification - orng.]

      I've recovered partially; decided to put it all behind me. No use in dwelling in the past, if I'm going to defeat this creature I need everything I've got, including my composure and sanity. I've got to do it for Andrea. She'd have wanted to me to do it.
      You know, I wonder what people are going to say tomorrow when they find her. Or what's left of her, at least.
      It's a little bit after midnight, but I'm not feeling tired at all. Is it the insomnia again? The fear of sleep, knowing he'll get me? I assume so.
      It's funny, though, funny how I managed to get to sleep that day I saw him. Even though deep down I'm terrified of him, I know that something inside me was relieved, something that subconsciously told me it would be all right in the end. It calmed me; Barnum has a weakness, I know it. What is he without victims? Nothing; he hides behind his handmade incarcerations… the demon suit, but other than that he is nonexistent. Yeah, that's right—without his little fucking t-shirts, he's nothing.
      I'll get him. Swear on my life, I'll get him. I'll formulate the plan tonight… how do I lure him? How do I make him appear…? Update later.


[journal entry #38]
[06.07.56 / 0422 hours]
[classification - orng.]

      Four hours later and I've finally come up with something that seems semi-plausible. Will it work? I'm hoping it does and doesn't simultaneously. The beauty of it all. Gah, I've got to sum this up quickly so he doesn't catch on… could be listening right now (shhh).
      Alright, here's the catch. The blueprints of the purest plan. Come on, come on, come on… [sound - shuffling paper] 'kay, gotta get it down to the complexities here. Cool. Super simple. Remember how when I was trying to find Andrea, God rest her fragmented soul, and I had brought the journal along with me? Well I'm thinking me, plus the journal attracted Barnum somehow, because it was then and only then that he decided to make an appearance. He materialized when I was investigating something obviously connected with him. Then Barnum emerged from the shadows to finish off the two-step process, when he finished off Andrea in the kitchen the other day. It was required for him to show me what he was capable of.
      My plan is to repeat this method, but instead of being completely helpless, I'm going to try and light that motherfucker on fire. The entity itself is nearly indestructible, but those coats… without them I'm sure the answer to his exposure will come clear. It has to. I know where I can get something that will work… I'm pretty sure they keep the flamethrowers locked up in the stations barracks. J-j-judging from the security in this place, snagging one won't be a p-problem at all.
      All I ha-have to do is wait for someone else to disappear. Then I can try and find them.
      J-Jesus christ, it's getting cold in here. I'm going to bed.
      (goodnight don't let rickbarnum bite)


[journal entry #38]
[06.07.56 / 1464 hours]
[classification - orng.]

      I've made the decision to lug this thing around with me wherever I go. [voice alteration - monotonous] After last night I'm determined to find him, and if I'm constantly recording then he has to come out sooner or later, right? Plus, I kept hearing things last night… and my paranoia is back up to unsafe levels; this journal helps me feel safe, it's been my companion on this express ride to hell. But I'm still articulate, still rollin'.
      I'm pretty peeved right now, though, quite a few people ended up ditching this shift. I've been stuck working on the PA system wiring for the last two hours; some jackass scrambled the shit out of it. Purposefully? Maybe. Don't know what could be so special about the announcements, though.
      People still seem to be hesitant to talk to me. I keep getting strange looks. And say, where the hell did Joseph go off to? I haven't seen him for weeks! Granted, he's been working in the brig, but still… does he know about Andrea? I don't even think he's sleeping in his dorm anymore, maybe he's been moved to the barracks.
      Hmm… that gives me an idea; I could use him to get me some of that flame. Kick up the heat, baby (feelitburn)!
      I'll contact him after my shift, it's not like I'm gonna be going to sleep anytime soon. [sound - inaudible speech] Damnit.


[journal entry #39]
[06.07.56 / 1638 hours]
[classification - orng.]

      [sound - footsteps] Alright, I contacted Joe. He was surprised to hear from me. The jokes on him though, wait til he sees me. Wait til he hears the news I have about… actually, what will I say? Joseph's never been big into the paranormal, he wouldn't believe me story for a second. On second thought, I won't tell him, the blow could be devastating and it could upset my plans. If you ever hear this, Joey-buddy, it's not personal… if Barnum was after you, you'd understand. [sound - ping/whirring]
      Anyways, I'm currently in the elevator that'll take me to the Commons room on the port side of the orbital station… the blue one. He'll be there somewhere. Mmmmhm. [sound - ping/footsteps]
      Commons B.01, UNSCDF-3CC691 SUNFLARE… oh, so that's what this heap's called! Fantastic. Now I have a specific locale of death for my gravestone. [sound - laughter/distant conversation/footsteps] Where is he…? I don't see him.
      Maybe he's over by the vending machine, Joseph always had a sweet tooth. Gallop on over. Ah, there is he is—well look who we've got here!
      {dual voice log; ID [Barren, J] Buddy! Long time no see! How the hell have you been?
      [Waite, B] I've been good, man, good. You wanna get out of here?
      [Barren, J] Read my mind.


[Entries 40-42 missing]

[journal entry #43]
[06.07.56 / 1800 hours]
[classification - red.]

      [Barren, J] … look tired, Brian. How hard has APPCO been working you? You look intensely run down.
      [Waite, B] It's nothing.
      [Barren, J] Alright… say, who's your friend?
      [Waite, B] This is my journal, weren't you issued one when we graduated from the program?
      [Barren, J] Shit. I knew I was forgetting something… you've actually been using this thing?
      [Waite, B] Yeah, it's been keeping me company.
      [Barren, J] Well I guess that's a good thing. Me and the guys have missed ya, man, why'd you have to take the mechanics/engineering route? You're a nut.
      [Waite, B] Oh, come on now. You're making this next question hard to ask.
      [Barren, J] Hm, and what would that be?
      [Waite, B] I'm assuming since you're working in the brig that you have connections to the security stations, preferably to the weapons lockers?
      [Barren, J] Why are you asking me this, man?
      [Waite, B] We have the shittiest tools ever created in mechanics, Joe—the welding equipment doesn't even give out a consistent flame. I've got an upcoming assignment where I've got to… to repair the orbital sensor wiring, and with one of those welding tools I'll fail for sure.
      [Barren, J] Right.
      [Waite, B] I need something that'll produce a flame solid enough to solder those wires together, and I know for a fact that security holds those mini blowtorches in the lockers. I need one.
      [Barren, J] Are you kidding? Those could be dangerous in the wrong hands, dude. I trust you and all, but… I don't know. You sure about this?
      [Waite, B] Come on! I'll return it right away, I just need it for the next couple of days. Administration won't know jack shit, I promise. Promise.
      [Barren, J] So this is the only reason why you came to see me? Catch up for a couple minutes and immediately ask me a favor that could get us both in a big amount of trouble? Forget it.
      [Waite, B] Joseph… just… just give me the fucking blowtorch. I need it. I'm done being nice. We're buds, man, have I ever been irresponsible in the past? No. Let's go. If we go now we can be back really soon.
      [Barren, J] You just don't [playback error - static]
      [transmission force quit/error 8Z4224.11Q]


[journal entry #44]
[06.07.56 / 2320 hours]
[classification - red.]

      That took a lot longer than I expected. He sure was hesitant—good thing he caved at the last minute. I was getting desperate for a second there. This thing sure is heavy, though, and I'll be damned if this wasn't a bitch to conceal from the numerous MPs wandering the Sunflare. Good thing—[sound - prolonged yawn]
      Fuck, the lack of sleep is beginning to tug at my senses again. Good, that means it will attract him. Hook, line, sinker… look at that fat trout.
      I'm no longer afraid; I know what to expect now. I am full of anger as opposed to my… previous affliction of fear. Barnum doesn't even realize it. He's gonna burn for his antics. I'll keep updating through the night. Who knows, maybe I might even fall asleep.


[Entry 45 missing]

[journal entry #46]
[06.08.56 / 0666 hours]
[classification - red.]

      Heard the scream of infinity. Hid the wonder in ice. Played with shadow. There's always tomorrow. The sun still sleeps awhile all rise. Friends of friends meet bitter end. Blood has and is to be spilled. No. RE. GRETS.


[Entries 47-52 missing]

[journal entry #53]
[06.08.56 / 1015 hours]
[classification - orng.]

      Haven't seen my primary instructor today, some of the guys I work with say he's sick, but the nurses in the infirmary say they haven't seen him. And that, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, my beloved audience… is my queue.
      Back to work. Tonight is the night.


[journal entry #54]
[06.08.56 / 1819 hours]
[classification - red.]

      You better believe it, I'm about to finish this chapter of my life once and for all. I can feel his energy, growing, pulsing… solidifying into a paranormal mass; an entity who's not all there. There's snakes sliding in the vents, whispering. Slithering. But I've got all that I need. [sound - butane release/ignition] All that he needs.
      I'm taking a li'l stroll through the staff quarters right now—I'm going to try and find my instructor; it's unusual for that man to not show up. He doesn't look like the sort of person to get sick. Stay home with a thermometer up your ass and a pill constantly in your stomach. [sound - wheezing laughter]
      Ring, ring, anybody home? [voice alteration - sarcasm] Oh, my, I am so scared right now. Trembling in my undersized footwear… somebody, anybody, help me puh-lease! Mr. Rowley? You anywhere—[sound - electronic snap]
      Shit. The lights are flickering again. I… I'll concentrate on the task at hand. {snap} Passing those ugly metallic doors: P. Roswell, R. Hughes, C. Wheeler, J. Rowley—ah, here you are. Wink wink. {snap} Damn lights! Stay the hell on for this, will you? Last thing I need…
      Hello? Somebody there? Somebody who wants to have a little chat? Don't be s—
      There you are! I've been… been…
      What the FUCK. What did you do to her?! TAKE THAT OFF! You fake!
      [sound - flame burst]


[journal entry #55]
[06.08.56 / 2143 hours]
[classification - red.]

      Failure is one of the worst things someone has to go through. Repeated failure is inexcusable. Thanks to this little twist thrown on by Barnum, my nerves are once again peaking at abnormal levels. My head is going to burst. This throbbing chorus of brain cells fading into nothing—lack of sleep is hitting hard now—elates and thickens; gorgeous but frightening at the same time. What's happening to my mentality? Everything sounds echoey… my voice doesn't sound like my own. Woof. Woof!
      You wanna know what happened? Gimme the props, sonny. That's where it's at. Remember my friend, Andrea? She made another appearance, sort of. Apparently Barnum decided she'd make a great replacement for his nonexistent face. Yep, that's right, my ex-best friend Andrea has become Rick's favourite facemask! Roughly stitched together, too… the eyes were pulled back to extreme angles, and the jaw was lopsided. That's what he wanted to show me. It seems Barnum has something new to show me every. Fucking. Time. You bitch—you just needed to RUB IT IN DIDN'T YOU!
      I was too shocked to toast him right away; I stood there in shock, sudden paralysis, and when I finally came to and pressed down on the torch trigger he was already gone. Needless to say, I ran quick and hard and hard and quick before the lights went out completely.
      Break down the perception. [sound - stifled shout]
      It's cold, I find the temperature to be suffocating. It feels like my lungs will close up any second now and I will be frigid in my passing. I feel like a fat man after his third heart attack… I think.
      I will have to return this miniblowtorch somehow to Joseph tomorrow. Otherwise the Prince of the Space Castle will get moody, and we wouldn't want that would we? Too bad I've made a personal pact not to leave this room. It's too risky; so many variables on things that could happen. People know about this ghost now. I can see it in their faces, their eyes—they say "We can see it, something strange is happening". I haven't had a civilized conversation with someone in my sector for days now. This form of isolation, of unanimous prosecution by my coworkers, has probably led to my condition. Those bastards, this is all their fault. Theirs, and Admiral Dredurns…
      Some things just don't work out the way you want them to—I was fully intent on coming here to a higher-up orbital station to pursue my interest in mechanics. I was intent on applying myself so maybe I could make something of myself one day, whether I was a mechanic on some planet controlled by the UNSC or on Earth or whatever. But no, they took that away from me. They slowly squeezed my dreams into a ball, slowly—then when I was finally out of reach of civilization, they FUCKING shredded it in two and laughed at how I'd never amount to ANYTHING. I will never, NEVER, be able to get back on track. It's too late. [voice alteration - aggression] Too LAATTEEE!
      Now, I've got to figure a way to break from these chains. Can't you hear them rattle with every step I take? Every word I speak? They tremble with envy, they want to be free… individuals. Isn't that what society is? Everyone's chained together to keep humanity in order, but we long to be individuals… individuals. We carry the lead ball, which is really composed of the 'important' people. The people with authority. We, the chain, carry the lead ball—we carry the only true 'individuals'. Has a ring to it, doesn't it? Well, what if we all broke off and did our own thing! What would happen to society? This realization has given me a very bitter, bitter insight. You better fucking believe I ate the forbidden fruit. Knowledge. Lunacy-driven knowledge.
      We get tricked into making something of ourselves, we try and become successes out of own personal dreams and ideas, but as we get older our selection becomes more and more limited, and eventually it winds down to something we never wanted to be. Some people end up within sight of their goal, their lifelong objective, and as they get closer and closer, it gets farther and farther. Eventually, it disappears, leaving them behind in the darkness as others swarm and envelop them, also trying to chase their hopeless dreams.
      Notice the daunting similarities, in case you missed them.


[journal entry #56]
[06.09.56 / 0854 hours]
[classification - red.]

      Riddles and ripened thoughts are all I'm good for. I've spent the duration of the night-day fusion thinking, just thinking. But I refuse to bore you any… any longer. I'm so braindead right now it's not even funny. Yet… I can hear you laughing. Stop it before I do something I regret. Don't make me pick up, pick up, pick up, pick up the remains. These stars are so bold, they stand out like crazy… space can be so transcendent. Lately I've been wondering, what drove Barnum off the edge? [voice alteration - tranquil] Surely this place couldn't have been so bad. Just looking at through this window right now is so… peaceful. It takes me back from all this bullshit that's been happening; it's giving me a breather, if you will. Just knowing that there's nothing out there, just a vacuum of nonexistence, is blissful. Knowing that nonexistence is the only place where I can be at rest, where I can drown my sorrows, I hope that there is no tomorrow. The universe is strangely corrupt of sense.
      What's going to happen? That's one thing I haven't been able to foresee. Will it erupt with a bang or die out with barely a whisper? What am I missing here, guys?
      Shhhh. Not too loud. I'm not supposed to be in here right now. Everybody's doing their thing awhile I skip out. Skip-it-a-bit-in-a-pit. Love-ly! Things are beginning to click. I can feel it, hear it, pop! into place. Maybe everything's going to be all right—but if I really believed that I'd be a fool. An insomnia-stricken fuck with brain seeping out of my ears.
      It's getting really cold in here again. My brain feels like it's melting and my hair is standing on end. I suppose I better get one of my sweaters. [sound - laughing/footsteps] Funny, this will be the first time I've actually opened this thing since I first got here.
      [sound - electronic squeak/scream]
      FUCK NO!


[journal entry #57]
[06.09.56 / 1123 hours]
[classification - red.]

      [voice alteration - panic] Just when… if… you… god, please. Why do you torture me like this! Holy shit. I thought this was done. OVER. Jokes on me… jokes on the champ… on the motherfucking Waitester! I'm nothing more than a rat, gnawing at the ropes to release me from this internal pain. Fuck! Was it me? Actually? No, no, couldn't be… don't remember. Use it or lose it, Barnum! [sound - hyperventilating]
      How long have I been exposed to this? Why me? Why?! Louder, louder, louder, more snakes… slithering, exploding, succumbing to the rumble of the inside. Give it. Give it. GIVE IT A FUCKING REST. Do you know what he did now? Want to know? H-H-Hey… listen up, journal.
      Somehow, some WAY, he busted in here. That's right—I know it sounds freakishly, freak, facemask… Andrea; I-I'm sorry!—made his way awhile I busy pondering, wondering, thinking, philosophizing. Heh. Oh, man. He got me good. Jokes on me… jokes on the champ… champ. A throbbing inside keeps a man from pride.
      'Kay, you heard it. Walked over to grab a full wooly sweater 'cause I was cold, right? Wrong. Somehow… somehow he knew I'd be checking there soon. Guess what I found? You probably know. Yes, you have to, it's so typical of that man. No? I don't hear a reply, a response, an answer, a reaction of fused intellectual thought. [sound - whimper]
      It so happens—so generous, oh… generosity of demons—that I've been awarded my own fashion line! Yup, mhm, that's right. If I ever feel like dressing up, well, now I've got three people to choose from! Andrea… Joseph… my instructor. Although I think I'd look best in Joseph, he always had that nice tanned skin I've been so jealous… envious of. [sound - laugh]
      You know, maybe… maybe this is it. This is the end. What more can he show me? What more can… can he bring? I've been driven over the edge. It makes me think—not even the emptiness outside my window can save me from myself now. Not even…
      [sound - sigh] Save me from... myself? Click. [voice alteration - fear] Emergence is a slow, painfulllll process… how could you… I… him… we cope? Surfacing like bubbles in a steaming vat. It's. So. Cramped! LET ME OUT. Stop the struggle. WE. ARE. THE. SAMMMEEE! Bubbling; frothing; spilling in… out; there's a leak. Dribbling. Dribbling. Give me it back! [sound - grunting]
      The moment of truth. Open those sweet, silent canals, and LISTEN! For you have always known! I've pulled back the curtains and peered into reality, into life, and discovered. DISCOVERED.
      [sound - insane laughter/fast footsteps/electronic whirring]
      [time duration +62m.10sauto shut-down]
            {report 1125h - muffled scream}
            {report 1143h - muffled scream}
            {report 1223h - rumble/screams/chatter}


[journal entry #58]
[07.25.56 / 1545 hours]
[classification - red.]

      This is Lieutenant David Meadows, service number 46221-919-CSB2231, reporting on the Waite/Barnum identity crisis. This journal has been declared property of the Office of Naval Intelligence—all material associated with and within is classified, code alpha. Any breach of security will be declared a violation of international security laws and will be declared punishable, as a felony, to the fullest extent of UNSC law.
      [sound - sigh] Now that we're done with that, let's get down to business. Admiral, you may have been informed, there was a second incident on the Sunflare of Alpha Centauri a little over a month ago, concerning 'Brian Waite'. Consider it nothing more than a miscalculation. Turns out that the neural paralysis we put Barnum… er, Waite—whatever you want to call him—wasn't permanent.
      Before I get into the details, allow me to clarify the history behind all this, as to avoid confusion for the previously uninformed. Over the past several years, ONI has played a part in researching roles for super soldiers. This does not mean Spartans or synthetically-altered Marines. Instead, we've been studying antisocial personality disorder—or sociopathy—and how it could be used in effect with creating the ultimate fighter. We needed to find a way to raise soldiers like this by developing the proper conditions in which this disorder could be exposed… for if we completed that process we could move onto the next step of maintaining obedience among these subjects. We found a selection of viable environments that could potentially produce/uncover APD… along with a host of random individuals who showed positive signs (all dormant) of this psychological disease. They were admitted into the program without ever being told. Our plan was to slowly create an army of emotionless machines that would kill anything placed in front of it.
      Unfortunately, one of our early candidates, Rick Barnum, broke down on the Sunflare when being trained in engineering and rampaged. Rather than lose all the valuable work ONI had invested in this subject, it was determined that the best decision was to wipe his memory clean and reinstate a new past and identity using a selective neural paralysis treatment. You know, of course, that this newborn personality came to be Brian Waite. The old Rick Barnum had been deemed uncontrollable, and was thus dumped from the program. We had thought Waite was stable, that all signs of APD were extinguished, and re-admitted him to the Sunflare with the next batch of students to continue being trained in mechanical repair.
      However, there was one thing we overlooked… it turned out the old persona was still there, albeit pushed back farther, deeper, inside the brain. Realistically, Rick Barnum still lurked within Brian Waite. Over the course of the apprenticeship, the neural paralysis began to wear off, and the two personalities slowly molded together. This caused Brian to develop a severe form of schizophrenia accompanied with the sociopathy of his former self. That particular information explains the severe hallucinations noted in the journal along with the mysterious deaths of Andrea, Joseph, and the several others.
      It was very fortunate that we had several spooks on the Sunflare to watch over Brian, otherwise this could've gone on a lot longer than we'd have liked. It was a good decision to employ Admiral Dredurn—he knew that if he wanted the apprenticeship program to maintain itself then he had to cooperate with us. A reputation of that caliber would've surely destroyed the UNSC's chances at keeping an already complicated course like that. Letting us cover up his mistakes was the best decision he could've made. The man got a little… peculiar after witnessing the clean-ups and hearing most of the information on Barnum.
      We found the bodies (or what was left of them), and repeated the method we used on Barnum: make flash clones of the DNA and stage accidents on transports back home. Works like a charm, and no one will ever know how their children were brutally murdered by an ex-sociopath. It's win-win.
      Brian Waite finally snapped on the 9th of June, running out of his dorm with this realization that he, in fact, was this menacing psychopath. That he had been murdering his close friends, stuffing them in the grinder and using their skin to make suits. It broke him; he ran down the hallways screaming bloody murder—fortunately, spooks quickly apprehended him and his journal. Barely anybody witnessed this incident… this worked for us as we promptly removed Brian from the station.
      Since then, he's been administered to the Asylum back on Earth and his identity, for the most part, has been wiped from any records or files that have been kept since APPCO took him in. He, and many others, will be safe as long as he remains in that special, white-padded room we gave him. It was sad to see him go, but it was for the best—ONI can not afford anymore mistakes. Our concentration is going to the rest of the subjects, who have [sound - typing] actually been complete successes so far. Extensive study is still taking place, so don't worry about this kind of thing happening again anytime soon. APPCO will go ahead as planned and Admiral Dredurn will be… withdrawn… from duty, just in case he cracks and spills everything that we've been working for.
      Admiral, please keep these contents private. You know as well as I do that if they fall into the wrong hands, this entire operation could be done for and ONI may be pulled into questioning.
      That is all, I await your response, I hope everything is accounted for. Lieutenant Meadows out.